On the Market: A Classy Colonial, A Heavenly Backyard, It’s Standing

Photo: 208 Grove St. 

A sample of Belmont homes “on the market” ranging from the affordable, the average and the quite expensive.

21 Garfield Rd. Colonial (1937). 2,506 sq.-ft. of livable space: 8 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. Two-car garage. A quarter-acre lot. Price: $1,195,000.

What’s special: Colonial + dead-end street + Belmont Hill = $1 million-plus. This house is a statement of restrained good taste; the interior molding is period perfect, wonderful light oak floors, high sill windows, a new (but smallish) kitchen with cabinets matching the floor’s coloring, a porch off the living room and understated rooms upstairs (but what’s with that half-bath with the stand-alone shower? A bit too narrow to work) that includes an attic office space. Only glaring issue: why did they scare the roof by jamming in a pair of skylights? They’re an eyesore and skylights never work they way you hope. A bit pricey at nearly $1.2 million for 2,500 square feet, but it works. 

The first sentence of the sales pitch“This classic, hip-roof Colonial, with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, is ideally located at the end of a cul-de-sac on Belmont Hill.”

208 Grove St. Center-entry Colonial (1940). 1,750 sq.-ft. of livable space: 8 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. One-car garage, attached. A .16-acre lot. Price: $729,000.

What’s special: The backyard. It’s fantastic; a patio for eating and sitting, a great grass yard and a perennial garden on the edges. Great for kids and adults who want family time outside. The house has a finished basement (that could use a refinishing), nice details – a solid mantel over the fireplace – a renovated kitchen and a full-year porch. While it does face a busy roadway, an owner/family is just a walk from Grove Street Playground. Hopefully, the new owners will remove that silly stone paneling on the right side of the front door. No one’s saying, “My, what intricate stone work!” They glance at it and think, “What are they hiding?” 

The first sentence of the sales pitch“Pristine, ‘move-in-ready’ center-entrance colonial, in desirable Burbank School area. 8 Rooms, 3 bedrooms and 1 full and 1 half bath comprise the 1,750 sq.-ft. living space.”

51 Davis Rd. Ranch (1953). 1,137 sq.-ft. of livable space: 6 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. No garage. A tenth-of-an-acre lot. Price: $550,000.

What’s special: Your entry point into Belmont. This is a classic post-war house, built fast to accommodate the demand for single-family homes in the 1950s. Not much to look at but no one is buying this as anything but their jumping-off point to something better. Not a charmer (the town assessor’s gave it a quality rating of “C”) but this ranch does have a finished basement, it’s close to businesses and the bus to Harvard. Bet it’s sold sooner than you’d think. It appears sturdy enough to stand a few more years before a contractor demolishes it to throw up a new, bland and boring two-family on the site. 

The entire sales pitch: “A chance to make this home your own, this wonderful 3 bedroom, 2 bath corner lot home offers a great location. Close to schools, public transportation, and other amenities.”

On the Market: A Great ‘White House’, A Bit of History, An Updated Condo

A sample of Belmont homes “on the market” ranging from the affordable, the average and the quite expensive.

52 Alexander Ave. “The White House,” Modern colonial, new construction (2014). 3,500 sq.-ft. of livable space: 9 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths. One-car garage. A quarter-acre lot. What’s special: What isn’t special about “The White House”? It has its own website! The building, designed by architect Robert Linn – you can see one of his designs on Grove Street in Cambridge known as “Red House” – is so clean in its lines (emphasized by the dominate white color scheme), the placement of the windows and wonderful use of open space – the second floor encompasses the attic in a more traditional home – it’s the classic New England Colonial infused with the sensibilities of contemporary European residential architecture. I even like the bathroom; it’s designed as a room rather than a space filled with fixtures. And it’s not on “the Hill” but a block from the commercial “Belmont Center.” It’s immediately a great house in Belmont. Now let’s see if the initial asking price can hold up. Price: $2 million. 

The first sentence of the sale’s pitch: “A rare opportunity to own new construction in Belmont and have it all: a flexible, true open floor plan encompassing a large kitchen with show-stopping quartzite island, Thermador stainless appliances, wine storage, convection oven, breakfast bar and walk-in pantry, family room with wall to wall windows, dining room with French doors leading to a covered patio and garden, and an entertainer’s dream living room.”

692 Pleasant St. An antique single-family in the Italianate style (1851). 3,188 sq.-ft. of livable space: 12 rooms, 6 bedrooms, 4 full and a half baths. Two-car garage. A little more than a third-of-an-acre lot. What’s special: History! This residency is from Belmont’s earliest days, a home for the son of the founder of Little Brown Publishing. The interior appears to have been kept in great condition with substantial renovations to keep it so nicely preserved. There are original wooden floors, the undulating curves of the main rooms and a great staircase. You also have to accept some really cramped spaces including the kitchen and some of the bedrooms. All in all, a wonderful space for those who love history or not. Price: $895,000.

The first sentence of the sale’s pitch: “Welcome to the Brown House built circa 1851 for the son of James Brown, founder of Little Brown Publishing Company. This lovely Italianate home boasts a beautifully detailed hooded doorway, bay window and slate roof and is surrounded by well thought out gardens and terraces.”

226 Trapelo Rd. #1. Renovated ground floor condominium (1922). 1,334 sq.-ft. of livable space: 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 full bath. Two-car garage. A little more than a third-of-an-acre lot. What’s special: This single-floor condo near Harding was renovated last year so it looks to be in great shape. It comes with nice period features – molding, trim, a built-in cabinet, brick fireplace and hardwood floors – with some surprisingly spacey room. The kitchen has those evil granite tops – this is not the 1980s! – and you’re facing a major thoroughfare. This is a bargain for a young couple. Price: $439,000. 

The first sentence of the sale’s pitch: “Picture perfect’ first floor condominium with lots of curb appeal in desirable Belmont. This immaculate home has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and is full of natural light.”

On the Market: A New Manse, a Ranch and a Trip Back to the ’20s

 Photo: The newest manse in Belmont.

Examples of homes “on the market” in Belmont ranging from the affordable, the average and the very expensive.

529 Concord Ave. New construction, blown-out Colonial (2014). 4,954 sq.-ft. of livable space: 12 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 4 full and two partial baths. Two-car garage. Half-an-acre lot size. What’s special: Just about everything (it’s just been built) from the view – yup, that’s Boston out your window – to the custom mill work, red oak hardwood floors, high ceilings (calling all Boston Celtics seeking a cool place to live) and a granite backsplash in the kitchen. This place has six separate heating zones and is full of “smart home” technology. Although one person pointed out recently the owners will like catch the lights from cars traveling west as they ascend the twisting hilly section of Concord Avenue. Price: $2.25 million. 

The first sentence of the sale’s pitch: “Perched atop Belmont Hill and sited in an exclusive enclave with other significant properties, this newly constructed Colonial-style residence features views of Boston and beyond.” 


103 Shaw Road. The typical 50’s style ranch (1955). 1,562 sq.-ft. of livable space: 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1 full and two partial baths. A garage for a very small car. Just less than a fifth-of-an-acre lot size. What’s special: It’s got a new roof! If you like ranch homes – not on most people’s list of favorite styles – it doesn’t appear to need much renovation work to bring out the charm and a return to the era of Laura and Rob Petrie. But it does seem a bit pricey although it’s in a nice location. Price: $809,900.

The first sentence of the sale’s pitch: “Custom crafted single owner 3 bedroom Ranch in prime Burbank location offers fireplaced living room, formal dining room with chair rail, eat-in kitchen with Italian tile flooring, a full finished lower level with fireplaced family room, storage and utility rooms, 1 full and 2 half baths, walk-up attic with expansion potential plus a three season porch and direct entry garage.” 

39 Bartlett Ave. Colonial-ish (1927). 1,400 sq.-ft. of livable space: 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. One-car garage. A small lot of about 3,000 square-feet. What’s special: You may have a tiny backyard but who cares when you a stone’s throw from a town playing field? PQ is next door which is great for the kids. The exterior is tired but the inside has some nice features including an enclosed porch for that bit of Southern livin’, wooden floors, good architectural details from the 1920s including the brick fire place and up-to-date Home Depot-ish cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. A real bargain in Belmont. Price: $525,000  

The first sentence of the sale’s pitch:”Charming two bedroom two bath colonial with enclosed front porch and level backyard in MOVE IN CONDITION!”